Certain Japanese media outlets said that after Japan annexed the Diaoyu Islands in 1895, China had not claimed sovereignty over the islands until the 1970s, when potential oil and gas reserves were identified in the vicinity of the islands.
It is utterly absurd to say so. In the eyes of the Chinese people, natural resources have nothing to do with sovereignty issues. China’s islands must be returned to China regardless of whether there are important resources.
It was unclear in 1895 whether Taiwan and its subsidiary islands had oil and gas reserves, but it was clear that Japan usurped China’s Diaoyu and Taiwan islands in the First Sino-Japanese War.
The 1943 Cairo Declaration, 1945 Potsdam Proclamation, and 1972 China-Japan Joint Statement all show that China has never given up its claim to the Diaoyu Islands. It is not that Japan does not know about these historical documents. The country just chose to turn a deaf ear to these documents.
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